This article and all photos were created by and originally published on inhonorofdesign.com. It has been republished with permission.
In April we had the chance to get away with the little ones for a weekend getaway in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a short, two-hour drive from Atlanta, so it was an easy trip there and back. Gabe and I always talk about focusing on culture and experiences with our kids over material things. For their birthdays this year, we knew this would be the best kind of gift to give them….uninterrupted time and adventure!
We arrived in time to grab a late dinner downtown at Big River Grille (Oh, the burgers are soooo good). It was lit up with lights and right off the river, so it was a fun way to start the weekend. We checked into our hotel at the Springhill Suites which had a huge outdoor area with a bonfire pit and yard games overlooking the river. The rooms were updated, clean, and very spacious which I was relieved to see since we would all be sleeping in the same room.
We got up early Saturday morning to make the most of the day. Grabbed a hot breakfast at our hotel, checked out the Tennessee Vacation Guide for ideas and attractions, and then headed for Rock City. The rain had cleared, and the fog was lifting. We got there early enough where there were no wait times, and not very many people. I wasn’t sure we’d make it all the way up and back without a few pitstops, but it was a fairly easy route. Some narrow tunnels and a few bridges, but it didn’t take us long to get to Lovers Peak. The photo speaks for itself. It was breathtaking. The air was so fresh and cool, and I just wanted to sit for the rest of the afternoon there. Gabriel and Veronica were so into the adventure at this point they were ready to see what was next after a quick bathroom break. I could barely keep up with them 😉 Thankfully, Gabe held Max the entire time. The teamwork comes in handy in moments like these.
We had some hungry hikers so we ventured over to The Farmers Daughter for lunch where they offer a beautiful back patio area to dine, and farm to table ingredients. It is a really simple menu, and everything is extremely delicious. Highly recommend a visit just for their sweet tea.
The city isn’t too big, so it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to get places. Most everything we did was within a couple miles of each other which made it so easy to get around. We could park and walk around for the day or hop on the city’s free shuttle service as well as bike rental options!
We headed to the TN Aquarium after lunch because my eager little ones couldn’t wait to see some penguins and sting rays 🙂 Gabe and I couldn’t get over how family friendly this aquarium was. (More about that next week!) Each of my kids were mesmerized the entire time, and we barely heard a peep out of them which is a rare thing. We kept our visits to each place 1-2 hours which is about the time span my children have before needing a rest or shift, so I loved we were able to walk through easily (thanks to the way they have the location set up), and see all of the key exhibits. There were some fun interactive elements as well like touching sting rays, catching butterflies, and going through the view tubes to get a closer look at those giant crabs!
We are already planning our next TN vacation because we had such a good experience in Chattanooga. Will share about the last few spots we visited next week!